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Article

Pekka Gronow

[Junnu]

(bKouvola, Finland, Dec 12, 1935). Finnishtenor and alto saxophonist and flutist. He learned to play guitar and tenor saxophone during his years of schooling and army service, and spent three years in Sweden without playing; after returning to Finland he took up baritone saxophone, then changed to the alto instrument. He studied flute at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and later spent a period in Boston at the Berklee College of Music. In the 1950s he played in a sextet led by the trumpeter Heikki Rosendahl in Inkeroinen. He moved to Helsinki in 1961 and worked frequently as a studio musician, except during the late 1970s, when a three-year government grant gave him the freedom to pursue his own musical interests. At the same time he made a name as a lyrical free-jazz and jazz-rock soloist, recording with Eero Koivistoinen (1969–73), Edward Vesala (from ...

Article

Michel Laplace

(b Paris, Jan 16, 1920). French clarinetist and bandleader. In 1941 he put together a jazz band which by 1943 had been joined by Boris Vian and was considered the first revival band in France. At its peak, in the years 1944–6, Abadie introduced such musicians as Claude Luter, Jef Gilson, and, from 1945, the Fol brothers, who may be heard on Tin Roof Blues (1946, Swing 212) and I’ve found a new baby (1946, Pathé 1013 [EP]). The band was strongly influenced by the Chicagoans and Bix Beiderbecke. In 1949 Abadie assembled a new band with such young players as Benny Vasseur and Jean-Claude Fohrenbach. He then retired from music (1952–63), but from 1965 led a modern-jazz nonet or tentet, which included the tenor saxophonist Paul Vernon (playing in a style influenced by Lester Young), with a repertory consisting of compositions by Ahmad Jamal, John Lewis, John Coltrane, and others....

Article

Aušra Listavičiūtė

[Gintas ]

(b Vilnius, USSR [now Lithuania], March 28, 1959). Lithuanian pianist. He played accordion from the age of four, studied piano from 1966 to 1977, and took courses in composition and jazz history at the M. K. Čiurlionis Gymnasium of Arts. At that time he admired rock music, but a recording by Oscar Peterson led to his interest in jazz. From 1977 he studied classical piano and composition at the Lithuanian music academy. In 1978 he formed a trio, which continued with a few changes in membership until 1994, and in the 1980s he led Jazz Archiv, a fusion group. He ceased to perform in public in 1992, though the trio played together for two more years. Abarius is admired for his use of impressionistic harmonies, his pure strong sound, and his impeccable technique, as heard on his album Reminiscence Blues (1988, Mel. C60-27877-007). He also plays other keyboard instruments and composes....

Article

ABBA  

Alf Björnberg

Swedish pop group. Its members were Benny Andersson (b Stockholm, 16 Dec 1946), Agnetha Fältskog (b Jönköping, 5 April 1950), Anni-Frid Lyngstad (b Ballangen, Norway, 15 Nov 1945) and Björn Ulvaeus (b Göteborg, 25 April 1945). Having established separate careers within Swedish pop they started working together in 1970, from 1972 under the name Björn, Benny, Agnetha och Anni-Frid. The acronym ABBA was adopted in 1973. Their victory in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, with Waterloo, launched the most successful international career to emerge from that context. During the period 1974–82 the group attained global popularity with songs such as Mama Mia (1975), Fernando (1976), Dancing Queen (1976), The Name of the Game (1977), Take a chance on me (1978) and Super Trouper (1980), all of which were number one hits in the UK, and albums such as ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Genoa, 1821; d Milan, 1896). Italian mezzo-soprano . She studied with her father, the composer and teacher Natale Abbadia, making her début in 1836 at Sassari. In Vienna she sang Corilla in Donizetti’s Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (1840). At La Scala she created Giulietta in Verdi’s ...

Article

J.B. Steane

(b Lemberg [now L’viv], July 14, 1872; d Weidling, nr Vienna, Sept 1, 1932). Polish soprano of Austrian parentage . She first appeared as a child prodigy, singing operatic arias in her native town. At 13 she entered the Vienna Conservatory; she later studied in Milan, becoming highly proficient in florid singing while developing a voice of considerable power. She made her début (1889) in La sonnambula at the Vienna Opera. In the Munich première of Falstaff she sang Mrs Ford, and at Dresden in 1902 sang Tosca in the opera’s German première. She retired in 1908, having sung some 70 operatic roles, ranging from coloratura parts such as the Queen of Night and Lucia to dramatic roles including Sieglinde and Venus. A few rare gramophone records made in 1902 display some dubious stylistic qualities along with an extraordinary fluency in decorative work and a warm, limpid tone characteristic of the Lamperti school....

Article

Lars Westin

(b Helsingborg, Sweden, Feb 26, 1942). Swedish tenor and soprano saxophonist and leader. After studying accordion from the age of ten he started on tenor saxophone when he was 14. He gradually evolved into a professional musician, working in Stockholm and his home-town Uppsala with groups led by Bosse Broberg (1962–7), Gugge Hedrenius (1963–5), Jan Johansson, Arne Domnérus, Red Mitchell (1969–71), and others. In 1967 he was a founding member of Radiojazzgruppen (ii), of which he became the leader early in the 1980s; the band maintained its activities well into the 1990s, in spite of diminishing support from the broadcasting company. From 1972 to 1992 Åberg led the quartet Rena Rama with Bobo Stenson. He also worked frequently with Okay Temiz in the group Oriental Wind, and he participated in a variety of musical projects and recordings led by George Russell, Bob Brookmeyer, Lars Gullin, Ed Thigpen, and many others. Åberg has composed and recorded music for large ensembles, and from the early 1990s he has led several groups. He has served as artistic director of several jazz festivals in Stockholm....

Article

Anna Amalie Abert

(b Kochowitz, nr Leitmeritz, Bohemia, Sept 20, 1832; d Stuttgart, April 1, 1915). Bohemian composer. After studying at the Prague Conservatory, he was engaged in 1853 as a double-bass player at the Stuttgart Hofkapelle where he then served as Kapellmeister from 1867 to 1888. Between 1852 and 1894 he composed orchestral and chamber music in addition to sacred and secular vocal works. He was most important in the field of operatic composition, his six operas winning him acclaim as one of the masters between Meyerbeer and Wagner. His first opera, Anna von Landscron (1858), was firmly rooted in the German Romantic opera tradition. However König Enzio, produced four years later, clearly showed the influence of French grand opera, which the composer had studied first-hand during a long visit to Paris. He was especially successful in 1866 with his third opera, Astorga, whose less dramatic text allowed scope for his primarily lyrical style to develop. In ...

Article

Stanley Sadie

English town on the Thames, near Oxford. It was an important centre for Handel revivals in the 1960s and 70s. Performances, modest in scale but noted for their spirit and enthusiasm, were given in the Unicorn Theatre (built in the granary of the 14th-century abbey) and twice in a civic hall, were directed and translated by Alan Kitching and were conducted and costumed (until her death in 1968) by Frances Kitching. Given by amateurs and advanced students until 1970, when they became professional, they began with Orlando in 1959; then followed, from 1961 to 1964, Partenope, Floridante, Agrippina and Admeto, and from 1966 to 1974 Poro, Giustino, Flavio, Sosarme, Il pastor fido, Arminio, Tolomeo and Arianna in Creta (Lotario was also given by the company, at Henley, in 1975). Most were modern premières. Several performances were repeated elsewhere, notably three at the City of London Festival.

A. Kitching...

Article

Andrew Jaffe

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(bBaltimore, March 10, 1923; dLos Angeles, Jan 27, 2000). Pianist. He studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music. After playing french horn in an army band he returned to New York, where he worked with Snub Mosley (1948), Wilbur De Paris (1948–9), Kai Winding and Bill Harris (1951–2), Chuck Wayne (1952), Sy Oliver, and Louie Bellson (1954); he also recorded with Eddie South (1947) and Louis Armstrong (1951). From 1954 to 1957 he toured and recorded with Ella Fitzgerald (he may be seen accompanying her in the film Pete Kelly’s Blues, 1955), and after a brief period of freelancing he worked from 1958 to 1959 as accompanist to Carmen McRae. During these years he recorded with groups led by Benny Carter and Oscar Pettiford (both 1955), in a leaderless rhythm section with Jimmy Raney, Pettiford, and Kenny Clarke for the educational Music Minus One label (also ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Mons, Belgium, 1962). Belgian trombonist and leader. He studied piano and guitar and at the age of 15 played piano in an amateur band; he then took up trombone (on which he is self-taught) and joined a succession of dixieland bands, including that of Claude Luter. In 1984 he turned to modern jazz as an occasional soloist with Félix Simtaine’s Act Big Band and the BRT (Belgische Radio & Televisie) Big Band and as the leader of a quartet; the latter group appeared at clubs and festivals, recorded its first album in 1986, and toured Europe from the late 1980s. Abraham joined Guy Cabay’s quintet in 1989. In the 1990s he appeared on television as a guest artist with a big band in Moscow, and he recorded with his quartet (including the albums Stapler, 1991, Igloo 091, and En public, 1996, Lyrae 9703007), as well as with Michel Herr’s big band (...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

[Giovanni]

(bSan Girolamo di Lusiana, province of Vicenza, Italy, May 15, 1898; dMilan, Aug 1960). Italianbandleader, saxophonist, and violinist. He was brought up in Switzerland, where he formed a café orchestra with his brother Felice, who played banjo and violin. From 1925 to 1932 he toured Italy, Germany, and Switzerland and made several recordings as a leader for Homocord (1927–8, including Just Once Again, 2514, and Say it with a Red Rose, 2524, both 1928), in which Arthur Briggs may have taken part. Abriani held an engagement in Calcutta from 1932 to 1934, during which time he recorded for HMV’s Twin label. After returning to Europe he toured (1934–9) and made further recordings (1937–9), and then settled in Italy. Although he was not himself a jazz soloist, he often employed excellent jazz players as his sidemen. (A. Mazzoletti: Il jazz in Italia: dalle origini al dopoguerra...

Article

Roger Scruton

The term ‘absolute music’ denotes not so much an agreed idea as an aesthetic problem. The expression is of German origin, first appearing in the writings of Romantic philosophers and critics such as J.L. Tieck, J.G. Herder, W.H. Wackenroder, Jean Paul Richter and E.T.A. Hoffmann. It features in the controversies of the 19th century – for example, in Hanslick’s spirited defence of absolute Tonkunst against the Gesamtkunstwerk of Wagner – and also in the abstractions of 20th-century musical aesthetics. It names an ideal of musical purity, an ideal from which music has been held to depart in a variety of ways; for example, by being subordinated to words (as in song), to drama (as in opera), to some representational meaning (as in programme music), or even to the vague requirements of emotional expression. Indeed, it has been more usual to give a negative than a positive definition of the absolute in music. The best way to speak of a thing that claims to be ‘absolute’ is to say what it is not....

Article

Clive Brown

[Stossen].

The normal German equivalent of the Italian verb staccare (‘to separate or detach; to play staccato’); the noun Stoss was used to mean staccato. Like its Italian counterpart it implies not only separation but also, in many cases, accent. Stoss means literally a blow or shove and the verb means to push, shove or jab. The prefix ab- indicates ‘off’. J.G. Walther, in his Musicalisches Lexicon, 1732, made a distinction between staccato and stoccato deriving the one from staccare (Ger. entkleben, ablösen), and the other from stocco (‘a stick’; Ger. Stock), which he considered to imply that the note was pushed or jabbed (gestossen). Walther's etymology, whether accurate or not, emphasizes the dual meaning of the term staccato in German usage. It was often, especially in the context of keyboard playing, used merely to indicate that notes were to be shortened; thus Türk equated the noun ...

Article

James Tyler

Article

Robert E. Seletsky

(It.; Fr. pincé étouffé; Ger. Zusammenschlag).

A ‘crushed note’. C.P.E. Bach (1753) and F.W. Marpurg (1755), who provided the German translation Zusammenschlag, defined the acciaccatura as a non-harmonic note played a tone or semitone below any of the main notes in arpeggiated chords, and immediately released. In 18th-century German sources such as C.P.E. Bach's treatise, it was frequently indicated with an upward diagonal stroke through the stem between the harmonic members of the chord. In melodic usage, the same writers classed the unprepared, simultaneously struck dissonant 2nd followed by the release of the lower note as a form of mordent. The Italian theorists Francesco Gasparini (1708) and Francesco Geminiani (1749) reserved the term acciaccatura for dissonances a whole tone below the harmonic notes played during arpeggiation, but used the terms mordente (Gasparini) or tatto (Geminiani) when the dissonant note was a semitone below the main note. These writers were unclear about the necessity of releasing the non-harmonic notes of whole tone interval; but Geminiani stated that the ...

Article

William Kirk Bares

Hybrid genre with origins in London’s acid house scene of the late 1980s. Originating with the English DJ and producer Gilles Peterson, the label denotes a craze, a marketing category, and a durable transatlantic jazz subculture with links to hip hop, rave and club music. Notable bands include the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Galliano, and Us3 in the UK and Digable Planets, Groove Collective, and Brooklyn Funk Essentials in the USA. During the music’s heyday in the 1990s, groups fused improvised live jazz with soul-jazz beats and elements of hip hop, including lyrics by established rappers like Guru and MC Solaar. The dance-oriented music tapped into the era’s fascination with jazz history, DJ culture, and retro kitsch. Jazz publications of the 1990s, including the UK-based Straight No Chaser (devoted entirely to acid jazz), debated whether acid jazz was innovative or derivative, genuinely or only superficially jazz. Its advocates touted its accessibility and potential to revive neglected jazz artists and grooves. Collaborations with veteran jazz musicians like Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Ron Carter added credibility to the movement....

Article

Richard Beckett

English record company. It was established in London in 1988 by the DJs Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson. Their original intention was that the label would represent an alternative to the nascent acid house scene, based more around live musicians than the technology so central to acid house. Their policy stated ‘no house music’ and championed obscure soul and funk artists of the 1960s and 70s. Peterson left in 1989 to set up Talkin’ Loud, a rival imprint backed by Polygram, leaving Piller and his assistant Dean Rudland to develop Acid Jazz as a small but fashionable independent label. In the early 1990s they signed bands such as Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai, who have since achieved considerable commercial success with major record labels. In the late 1990s the company diversified its musical base, with separate labels dedicated to drum ’n’ bass, reggae and pop. In 1994 it acquired the Bass Clef, a jazz club in Hoxton, East London. Renamed the Blue Note, by ...

Article

Stanley Sadie

Masque or serenata in one (later two) acts by George Frideric Handel to words by John Gay and others; Cannons, summer 1718 (revised version in three acts, incorporating Italian words by Nicola Giuvo, London, King’s Theatre, 10 June 1732).

During the period 1717–20 Handel spent much of his time at Cannons, the seat of James Brydges, Earl of Carnarvon (later Duke of Chandos), at Edgware, a short distance north-west of London. As resident composer, he supplied his patron with church music, principally anthems, and two dramatic works, Esther (the first English oratorio) and Acis and Galatea, which has variously been described as a serenata, a masque, a pastoral or pastoral opera, a ‘little opera’ (in a letter while it was being written), an entertainment and even (incorrectly) an oratorio. Whether or not it was originally fully staged, given in some kind of stylized semi-dramatic form or simply performed as a concert work is uncertain; local tradition holds that it was given in the open air on the terraces overlooking the garden (the recent discovery of piping to supply an old fountain, suitable for the closing scene, might fancifully be invoked as support). It was performed on an unknown date, probably during the summer, in ...

Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Bucharest, Oct 18, 1909; d Wabern, nr Berne, March 9, 1960). Swiss conductor . After studying at the Royal Academy in Bucharest and the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, he became Kapellmeister at the Düsseldorf Opera House, and in 1932 chief Kapellmeister and opera director at the German Theatre in Brno. He was chief Kapellmeister at the Berne Municipal Theatre (...